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JPHCOPH Examines Food Contaminants

Afriyie-Gyawu_EvansA collaborative study including Dr. Evans Afriyie-Gyawu at Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health examines food contaminants. Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is often a co-contaminant with aflatoxin (AF) in grains and may enhance AF’s carcinogenicity by acting as a cancer promoter. Calcium montmorillonite (i.e. NovaSil, NS) is a possible dietary intervention to help decrease chronic aflatoxin exposure where populations are at risk. Previous studies show that an oral dose of NS clay was able to reduce AF exposure in a Ghanaian population.

The objectives were to evaluate the efficacy of NS clay to reduce urinary FB1 in a rodent model and then in a human population highly exposed to AF. This work indicates that our study participants in Ghana were exposed to FB1 (in addition to AFs) from the diet. Moreover, earlier studies have shown conclusively that NS reduces the bioavailability of AF and the findings from this study suggest that NS clay also reduces the bioavailability FB1. This is important since AF is a proven dietary risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in humans and FB1 is suspected to be a dietary risk factor for HCC and esophageal cancer in humans.

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Posted in Environmental Health, JPHCOPH, Research